Chase, the world-famous bat dog of the Double-A Trenton Thunder, passed away on Monday, the team has announced. The canine had been battling lymphoma since February.
The 13-year-old Golden Retriever served as the club's official bat dog from 2002 through last week, and had become a fixture in the local community. Chase's unique talent for retrieving the team's bats from around home plate was also featured on televisions around the world, including CNN, ESPN, FOX, the YES Network, and on Japanese television with Hideki Matsui.
Here's a short clip of Chase in action:
The passing of Chase That Golden Thunder (his full name) comes just a few days after the team his official retirement party. Howard Megdal profiled the singular Golden Retriever for Sports On Earth over the weekend, giving the canine a better eulogy than I could ever hope for.
Chase is survived by two sons, "Home Run" Derby and Ollie, who have followed in their dad's footsteps by also becoming bat dogs for minor-league clubs. Derby has taken over his dad's job with the Thunder while Ollie grabs bats for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.